penshark (penshark) wrote,

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Brain wandering

Chain of thought: Heard today, a country song in which a farmer prays that his crops and his kids continue to grow. Which leads to ...

This thought: Farming is an act of hope and of faith. Which leads to ...

This thought: Teaching is also an act of hope and of faith. Which leads to ...

This sideroad: Both my parents were farm kids. Ironically -- or, perhaps, intentionally -- I was raised in small towns. But somehow, my career wanderings have led me to a place where, at the risk of cliche-ing, I plant seeds and have hope that something will grow.

And sometimes, I discover that the seeds grew beautifully. Last week, for example, I stood with one of my now-former advisees at our university's first-ever multicultural stoling ceremony. I knew Alicia and I had made a connection. But I didn't realize fully what that connection meant to her until I heard her words at the ceremony.

She said she had been searching for the right academic direction when she brought her seeds of curiosity about journalism into the 101 class I was teaching. (My metaphor, not hers.) I watered that curiosity with my own passion for this field. She decided anything that could prompt that passion was worth a deeper look -- and that deeper look led to her own passion.

Alicia cares about people. She'd have found her way into some field that allowed her to act on that caring. But I'm deeply grateful to hear from her that I helped her find her way into a field I still love.

Planting seeds. An act of hope and faith. Somehow I suspect my farm kid parents would recognize this place.

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